Thursday, July 10, 2008

goodbye my friend

"People come and go in your life but they never leave your dreams. Once they are in your subconscious, they are immortal." - Patricia Hampl

In the summer of 1991 I was working at a summer camp in Canada. One night in the middle of 'Training Week' I was sitting on the railing outside of the Dining Hall when two people came out. One was my friend Jason and the other was a girl named Faye. We hadn't spoken very much that week, but she asked me if I had a hair elastic. I said I had lots in my cabin so we set off across the field together. From that small, ordinary conversation grew one of the best friendships of my life.

I remember sitting in cabins and talking into the night. I remember talking to her every Wednesday night when we were home from camp. I remember taking long ridiculous road trips to visit her, just so we could see the look on her face when we showed up unexpectedly. I remember that whenever she arrived somewhere, the atmosphere changed. She always filled me with expectation. You never knew what she was going to say or how she was going to say it. I remember how she sat with me at another friend's funeral and held my hand. I remember how there was never anyone else like her in the world.

There are some people in your life who you think will always be there. There are a group of girls who are friends from that time - Faye, Karen, Cindy, Colleen, Gerb, and me. We don't talk for months - sometimes years - at a time, but as soon as we get together it's like we have never been apart. We click. We get each other. We know that no matter what, we are there for each other. Other friends have come and gone, but these girls have always been a constant in my life. I love them. Somehow I thought they would always be there.

A year ago Faye was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it and she beat it. Last night I found out that three weeks ago she went back for a check up and it was back. Last night I also found out that she had lost this particular fight. She was 32.

Dear Faye,
Thank you for being my friend. I am braver and sillier and smarter and more honest because I knew you. I will miss you for the rest of my life. I promise not to take that life for granted. I am sorry I didn't get the chance to say all of this in person. I hope you knew how much you were loved by us all. I hope you know it now. I love you.